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Hitchcocks last great picture,
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This review is from: Marnie [DVD] (DVD)
Marnie is a misunderstood masterpiece from the Hitchcock. Often cited as an example of a messy, flawed genius - it can be off putting to some since its quite talky. However stick with it and you will be intrigued and itching to discover all about Marnie (contrary to what most say, played with understated brilliance from Tippi Hedren).
The direction and cinematography is exceptional with Hitchcock and his usual crew i.e. Rob Burks etc on form. The atmosphere generated (apart from being 'Hitchcocky') is unique, dark, gloomy and at times akin to a horror film, yet it is utterly appealing and compelling. Theres an almost creepy, artificial humanless feel to proceedings as a result of the direction and how the actors have been directed to act as is briefly highlighted by a Hitchcock scholar in the documentary on the disk. Hitchcock knows the art of cinema, no flashy fast cuts or fast moving camera's as we see nowadays, but measured, inspired direction laced with flourishes of creative genius (thats Hithcock for you). Atmosphere, emotion is built up like poetry. Witness for example some moments of genius such as the final revelation, in what is one of Hitchcocks most underrated, powerful and shocking pieces of direction; the riding sequence which culminates in Marnies fantastic yet disturbing line of dialogue, " there there....", and also sinister momnets such as when Marnies mother wakes here from her nightmare- her voice disturbingly artificial in its lack of emotion and empathy for a clearly distraught Marnie.
Speaking of the mother, Louise Latham -the actress behind the role effortlessly steals the show from an already superb Hedren and Connery. Latham eleicits an absolutely breathtaking performance. Her character is frighteningly creepy, tragic, powerful and marvellously played to keep up the suspense and intrigue. You don't know what to make of the character except of the fact she knows or has played a part in Marnies psychological condition. In fact I would go as far as to say it is one of the greatest performances in a Hitchcock picture - an example of genius casting. Similarly her character is arguably the greatest 'mother' character in any Hitchcock film beating Pyscho and Notorious' madame Sebastion.
Marnie is a truly great picture and definetly Hitchcocks last great although Frenzy is a nice enough distraction. Not as good as Vertigo or Rear Window but certainly up there in the higher echelons of Hitchcocks work.
The DVD is exceptional - pretty much a carbon copy of the region 1 copy except for one flaw: aspect ratio. The films has been cropped for 4:3 which is disappointing since its US counterpart is framed correctly at 1:85:1. The picture quality is pleasing though, but hasn't been remastered. The DVD does contain the documentary: 'The Trouble with MArnie' which goes some way to make up for the disappointment. Even with this flaw its a worthwile purchase since this film was only re-released a few months back hence we probably won't get a properly framed version for the foreseeable future.